Lake Louisa State Park

Lake Louisa State Park
Located in the northeast corner of central Florida’s Green Swamp, Lake Louisa State Park occupies 4500 acres on the south shore of Lake Louisa, near Clermont. It contains 6 lakes, 2 streams, 11 natural communities, and 105 acres of lake shoreline.

History

The park was once part of the Seminole Indian reservation, created by the Treaty of Moultrie Creek in 1823. In 1910, John and Louise Driggors Hammond established a homestead on the land around Lake Louisa. The Bronson family acquired some of the property in 1943. They planted orange groves and maintained a cattle ranch.

The state purchased the land in 1973. It became a state park in 1974 and was opened to the public in 1977.

Historical artifacts have been found in Lake Louisa. When the water level dropped due to a drought in 2001, two prehistoric dugout canoes were discovered on the lake bed. Later that year, the remains of a P-51 Mustang aircraft were found. This plane, piloted by First Lieutenant Dean R. Gilmore of Pennsylvania, crashed during a training flight on 14 November 1944. A monument honoring Lieutenant Gilmore and all aviators has been erected on the lakeshore.

Nature and Recreation

Natural communities within the park include sandhills, scrub habitat, upland mixed forest, swamp, marsh, wet flatwoods, hydric hammock, blackwater stream, and an old citrus grove. The terrain within the park is hilly, as it marks the northern border of the Lake Wales Ridge. Wildlife that can be observed in the park include white-tail deer, bobcat, fox squirrel, raccoon, gopher tortoise, bald eagle, osprey, turkey, quail, and a variety of songbirds.

Visitors can fish on four of the six lakes within the park. Boating is permitted, but only on boats with electric trolling motors or that are hand-powered. They must be small enough to be carried by hand to the launch point. Dixie and Hammond Lakes offer fishing piers. Canoes and kayaks can be rented at the Camper Canteen located near the developed campground. There is a designated swimming area at Lake Louisa, but not at the other lakes.

Within the park are 23 miles of trails for hiking or biking. There are also 16 miles of horse trails. Parking for the equestrian trailhead is at the Lake Nellie entrance off County Road 561 on the park’s western side.

Lake Louisa State Park has multiple camping options. The full-facility campground, located between Dixie and Hammond Lakes, has been voted one of America’s Top 100 Family Campgrounds by Reserve America. Each of its 54 RV or tent sites is equipped with water and electric hookups, picnic table, and fire pit. Campground amenities include 2 bathhouses, 2 fishing piers, 2 small pavilions, laundry facilities, and a dump station. Primitive camping is also available. There are 2 walk-in sites that accommodate up to 6 people, and 3 group sites for organized groups that accommodate up to 20 people per site. A separate primitive campground is offered to equestrians. It contains fire rings, non-potable water for horses, a pavilion, a self-composting toilet, and 5 paddocks for the horses. In addition to the campgrounds, 17 cabins can be rented. Each cabin has 2 bedrooms and bathrooms, full kitchen, dining room, living room, propane fireplace, and a screened-in porch. Each cabin sleeps up to 6 people. Linens and towels are provided. No pets are allowed.

All camping options can be reserved up to 11 months in advance. To reserve the primitive campsites, call the ranger station at (352)394-3969. The full-service sites and the cabins can be reserved online at the Reserve America website.

The main entrance to Lake Louisa State Park is located at:
7305 Highway 27
Clermont, Florida 34714

It is 7 miles south of Hwy. 50 and 30 miles west of Orlando.









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Content copyright © 2018 by Georgiana Kurtz. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Georgiana Kurtz. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Georgiana Kurtz for details.